‘Come Dine With Me’ – in the Bay

PE contestants spice up BBC TV series

Port Elizabeth ‘Come Dine With Me SA’ contestants, from left, Dane Emms, Jordin Brooks, Tracy Weeks and Chirene Bennett. Two episodes of the hit series were filmed in Port Elizabeth and will be screened on April 22 and 29 respectively
Port Elizabeth ‘Come Dine With Me SA’ contestants, from left, Dane Emms, Jordin Brooks, Tracy Weeks and Chirene Bennett. Two episodes of the hit series were filmed in Port Elizabeth and will be screened on April 22 and 29 respectively

Season 5 of Come Dine With Me South Africa is well under way on DStv and, on Monday April 22, it’s finally time for the first of two Port Elizabeth episodes to be broadcast.

The hit show, which has legions of fans around the globe, is again narrated by the acerbic but endearing Dave Lamb.

Every episode sees four dinner guests – all strangers to each other – hosting a dinner party on consecutive nights in the hopes of winning R10,000 in cool cash.

As in previous years the series was made for BBC Studios by Johannesburg-based production company Rapid Blue, whose team also filmed in Jozi, Cape Town and Durban.

The Friendly City seems to deliver just the right mix of mad, memorable home cooks who have made past shows so appealing.

“You know what, Port Elizabeth is always fun,” Rapid Blue’s SA executive producer Kee-Leen Irvine said.

“PE has the rap of being unsophisticated and that is not true at all. This year we’ve got lovely episodes in PE; one of them is all women.

“It’s the first time we’ve had an all-women episode and there was such a great dynamic.”

The second Bay episode, Irvine said, featured “people from another planet, but always in a fun, nice way”.

“SA is lekker: people are fun and interesting, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously as a nation,” she said.

It’ll be ladies’ night in the Bay for Monday night’s screening as medical rep Dane (pronounced Dannay) Emms, game lodge manager Tracy Weeks, self-declared “momster” and claims consultant Chirene Bennett, and air traffic service officer Jordin Brooks bring their best hosting and cooking skills to the fore.

Prepare for tattoos, tequila and more as the women turn it up in a bid to win the crown of hostess with the most-est!

Night one will see Dane’s prepping suffer a few early bumps in the road, but she quickly recovers to put on an evening of fun, laughter and instant bonding. All you need to do is just add water – or tequila! Night number two will see experienced host Tracy’s prepping slide by without a hitch. Tracy also throws her entire pantry at the dinner. The night kicks off with Jordin downing her first ever tequila and quickly vowing ‘never again!’

Night three falls to Chirene to host. Unicorns, tongue-in-cheek teasing, The Godfather imitations with lemons wedged in mouths and an emotional, self-penned song from Chirene (which gets everyone misty-eyed) make for a packed evening.

Chirene goes on to deliver good food and hosting despite her relative inexperience – but will it be enough for a win?

The final night belongs to Jordin to host. Her solid prepping culminates in a hilarious night of fun, gifts, high emotions and a few faux pas.

Will the youngest of the four contestants take home the cash?

Here’s a bit more about the first crop of Bay cooks:

Chirene Bennett

Menu: Starter of mixed sliders, spinach and feta-stuffed chicken breast served with couscous and gravy for main and a dessert of a layered cheesecake with a gin-tastic twist.

What’s the one thing people would be shocked to find out about you? Most people are shocked to hear that I sing, especially when I sing!

Dane Emms

Menu: Starter of smoked salmon tartare, Asian oxtail with mashed potatoes as main and crème brulee with berries for dessert.

Kitchen tips to share? Add a little salt when you’re frying onions to prevent them from burning. And, when struggling to open a bottle because the lid is too tight, give it a bash or two on the counter and it will pop open easily.

Jordin Brooks

Menu: Starter of prawns, succulent knuckle curry with roti or rice for main, and caramel mousse on a bed of biscuits – with choc flair – for dessert.

Why did you audition? I’m a huge fan of Come Dine with Me. It’s fun, vibrant, entertaining and fits my personality.

Tracy Weeks

Menu: Starter of roast cherry tomato tart, sautéed beef fillet for main and chocolate brownies for dessert.

What’s been your biggest dinner party disaster? Dancing on my bar counter before serving the main course.

Catch Episode 7 of Come Dine With Me South Africa on Monday April 22 at 8pm on BBC Brit (DStv channel 120).

The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 9pm and on Saturdays at 7pm. See Weekend Post next Saturday April 27 for a pre-piece on the second Port Elizabeth episode, to be screened on Monday April 29.